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Discussion Starter #1
So we don't know what our six month old is, but we're thinking border collie/shepherd mix (not sure if German or Belgian - wouldn't be surprised with a malinois!).

Whatever she is, she's a definite working breed! Very smart and high energy.

What are some good toys for her?

She figured out very quickly how to get food out of her kong.

We got her another toy that she has to bat around to get food out of. The trouble is, if we make it too easy she gets it all out very quickly and we have to refill it - and we don't want to overfeed her. If we make it too hard, she gets bored and moves on to something else. In general, she's more motivated by praise and novelty than by food.

She really likes to destroy things. She will pick apart any fabric-based toy we get her. She loves to shave tennis balls. She won't eat the stuffing or the pieces, she just likes to pick it apart and spit it out. Even the so-called "indestructible" ones she will manage to destroy in a day or two. We can't afford to keep replacing toys!

We tried getting her various rubber toys, but since she figures out very quickly that she can't destroy them she completely loses interest.

Basically the only thing that will keep her occupied for any length of time is a "let's destroy something!" project.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!
 

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My malinois love the jolly balls with the ropes in them. They can destroy them, but all of them would rather play with these than destroy them. I make tugs out of fire hose and rope. The ropes do have to he replaced often, but the hose lasts a long time. Best thing to do is teach them not to tear them up, but engage in playing with you with the toys.
 

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My labs favorite toys are empty milk jugs. I just take off the cap and toss it to him and he plays with them for hours on end.
 

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I don't know how fast your dog goes through them, but I buy a bunch of toys from the dollar store and then let Kabota destuff to his heart's content. At 5 toys for $5, it's not so bad.

Also, what about puzzle toys? They make these neat toys for dogs where the dog has to flip switches and such to get treats. Kabota's not that, um, smart, but maybe your Mal is.
 

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Rope is always a good bet, unless you think that she is likely to eat all the fibers, rather than just pull them apart and leave them..

If cost is an issue, then empty plastic bottles (minus the lids) are FREE (assuming that you would buy the product anyway) and a lot of dogs love to bat them around.

Solid rubber balls can also be good - they are harder to get a mouth around, so they tend to bat them and chase them rather than chewing them. Just make sure that they are too big to be swallowed (obviously)

We were debating buying some of the puzzle toys - they have a couple out at the pet store with the water bowls, and she was really fascinated.....for about three visits. Now she has them completely figured out, and just walks over and flips them open! So that would have been a waste of money....

I also think that the "indestructible" toys are a waste - My girl can chew her way through pretty much anything if she puts her mind to it!
 

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I have a fandamily of BC's and they do love to destuff toys, no doubt about that. Best toys that have lasted the longest are a sheepskin covered holy roller, rope tuggers, black kongs amongst others.
Least expensive and easiest to replace destructible play thing is the black nursery flower pot and black plastic water pipe. WIth the water pipe, use the 1 inch size andcut it into 15in lengths. Hard enough to last a while and heavy enough for you to use as a fetch toy.

This is my young one enjoying a flower pot.



 

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I have a malinois and find that she can destroy any dog toy. One toy that she loves dearly and buys some "self entertainment" time is a steel pole in the ground (like a flagpole or tetherball pole). Attach a rope to the top and one of those figure 8 shaped xtra tough kevlar/nylon Kong pullers at the end. It's pretty strong and easy on their mouth/teeth. Eventually is shreds but it takes a while and can stay out in the weather. My mal pulled the pole to a 45 degree angle right away but it still works wonders. You can spin the pole around to make a game of it or just let them pull to their hearts content. Just take the time to set the pole very deeply in, you don't want it to fly out of the ground. It's pretty funny to watch, like a giant dog fishing pole and they can self-regulate the pressure. Lots of exercise really helps too of course. My dog never stops moving even with miles of work and is always looking for something to pick up and this set-up never gets old with her. I actually use it as a reward for her.
 

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Back when I lived on a farm and had a pitbull mix we gave him old front tractor tires to play with. IHe was a 100% outdoor dog though. I don't think you'd want a dirty tire inside your house.

Our chi mix is pretty toy destructive too. She can quickly shred stuffed toys, especially the ones that belong to the cats, and extract squeakers from flat cloth ones. She doesn't like cheap rubber toys, perhaps it's the strong smell or taste. She will chew up plastic lids with vigor though. I guess I'll have to find some mini milk jugs that will be her size.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Interesting, interesting. Our dog doesn't just chew, though. She uses her sharp, very front teeth like a tailor would use a seam ripper and snaps individual threads to get to the inside of the toy.
 
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